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Nike Settles Commercial Free Speech Case

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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-12-03 10:53 AM
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Nike Settles Commercial Free Speech Case
Nike Settles Commercial Free Speech Case

Nike Agrees to Pay $1.5 Million to Worker Rights Group to Settle Commercial Free Speech Case

The Associated Press

BEAVERTON, Ore. Sept. 12
Nike Inc. agreed to pay $1.5 million to a worker rights group to settle the commercial free speech case that it took to the U.S. Supreme Court.


The case arose from Nike's vigorous defense against allegations that it used Third World sweatshops to manufacture its athletic products. Nike defended wages and conditions at Asian plants, run by subcontractors, where workers make tennis shoes and athletic wear with the distinctive Nike swoosh logo.

Nike wrote letters and issued press releases and fact sheets about its overseas labor conditions. It said such statements are part of the marketplace of ideas protected by the First Amendment and that it must be free to explain itself to customers, potential customers, or anyone else.


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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-12-03 11:03 AM
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1. Nike says they have the right to stretch the truth and outright lie
which is technically correct. That's how the GOP has grabbed power. It's now the American way.
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-12-03 11:24 AM
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2. This was a crucial is-a-corporation-a-person case
As I understand it, Nike admitted they had lied, but claimed that the first amendment protected their right to lie about what nice guys they were, just as long as they didn't lie about their products.

In doing this, they were claiming that corporations have the same freedom-of-speech rights as individuals. Individuals do have the right to lie as long as they don't lie under oath, libel anyone, etc. So this case was expected to be a major determination of whether corporations do have the same rights as natural persons.

From the linked article, I can't tell what the actual result of the case will be. The article seems to have a very pro-business slant and doesn't get into any of the real issues. Since the Supreme Court refused to take the case, I would assume the decision will be binding only in the jurisdiction of the appeals court and not for the US as a whole, but I'm no legal expert. Does anyone have a better source on this?
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